ARCADIA -- A drainage problem with the new synthetic track at Santa Anita could jeopardize its thoroughbred racing programs if the area is hit with predicted heavy rainfall in the coming days.
"It's designed to be an all-weather track. At this point, it's anything but," Mike Willman, director of publicity at Santa Anita, said. "If we get the heavy rain that is forecast, there is a very strong possibility we will have to cancel racing at some point."
The new track, installed last summer at a cost of $11 million, was designed to ensure safety for horses and jockeys. But, Willman said, the drainage problem was discovered in September, while racing programs were being held at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds.
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The United States had a 1-0 lead in its Hopman Cup mixed teams final against Serbia hours before the first match was scheduled to begin today. Jelena Jankovic, hobbled by strained buttock and hamstring muscles for three days, was not able to play her singles match against Serena Williams, giving the U.S. a walkover win and 1-0 lead at the Burswood Dome in Perth. Serbian officials were hoping that by resting Jankovic from women's singles, she would be able to partner with Novak Djokovic in the mixed doubles, the final match of the night. That strategy will only work if Djokovic beats American Mardy Fish in men's singles to make the match even at 1-1.
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